The core units introduce students to the functions and roles of the cardiovascular system and its relationships with other body systems. Students learn about maintaining heart health, blood and its components, and diseases and disorders of the cardiovascular system.
The extended units include comprehensive lessons on blood vessels, the cardiac cycle, blood cells, and blood types. There is also an extended unit on the development of the heart from the fetal stage through adulthood.
The Cardiovascular System module is designed according to the AES course framework, which includes four phases:
- Learn & Practice
Below you'll discover how AES can help you teach your students about the cardiovascular system according to these four phases.
Phase 1: Explore
This trivia challenge includes a mix of interesting and challenging facts about the cardiovascular system to kickstart student learning. This activity can be done individually or in teams as a game.
Phase 2: Learn & Practice
Unit 1: Introduction (Core)
In this unit, students are introduced to the functions and roles of the cardiovascular system, the components of the cardiovascular system, and the cardiovascular system's relationships with other body systems. Students also learn about the roles of diet and exercise in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
Unit 2: The Heart: Anatomy and Function (Core)
In this unit, students learn to describe the heart's location, size, and shape and identify structures that make up the heart and its functions. Students also learn to explain the functions of the heart and differentiate between pulmonary and systemic circulation.
Unit 3: Cardiac Blood Vessels (Extended)
In this unit, students describe the flow of blood through the cardiovascular system, classify types of blood vessels and their functions, and explain characteristics of vascular tissue.
Unit 4: The Cardiac Cycle (Extended)
In this unit, students explain cardiac tissue characteristics, describe the heart's electrical pathway, and list the steps in the cardiac cycle.
Unit 5: Blood and Its Component (Core)
In this unit, students identify the function of blood, explain blood production, identify how much blood is needed to survive, identify characteristics of blood, define hematopoiesis, and list the components of blood and their function.
Unit 6: Blood Cells and Blood Types (Extended)
In this unit, students explain the life cycle of red blood cells, distinguish the function of each type of blood cell, list the four groups and eight types of blood, and associate antigens with types of blood. Students also explain the importance of the Rh factor, explore reasons for blood transfusion, and indicate which blood types are the universal donor and the universal recipient.
Unit 7: Development of the Heart (Extended)
In this unit, students learn about critical stages of fetal heart development, describe the placenta and umbilical cord and their functions, and identify the major shunts in the fetal circulatory system. Students also identify age-related changes to the heart and how these changes may lead to medical complications.
Unit 8: Diseases and Disorders (Core)
In this unit, students learn to describe several diseases and disorders of the cardiovascular system, examine the causes and symptoms of these diseases and disorders, and identify their treatments.
Phase 3: Reflect
Questions and Discussion
This activity provides an opportunity for students to reflect upon and apply what they learned to situations in their lives and health-related settings. The questions encourage students to consider what they learned about the cardiovascular system and how it connects to other systems.
Students can complete this assignment as homework or teachers can use the questions to lead a class discussion.
Phase 4: Reinforce
For this activity, students complete a crossword puzzle about the cardiovascular system to reinforce the glossary words and medical terminology. Students can work individually or in small groups to complete the puzzle.
Advanced Treatment Research Project
Students research an advanced treatment for a disease or disorder related to the cardiovascular system to better understand medical procedures beyond the typical treatments. Students are encouraged to explore current, innovative, cutting-edge, non-traditional, and other treatment options as part of this project.
Students can work individually or in small groups to create a research paper or presentation.
In this project, students research three healthcare careers related to the cardiovascular system. This activity is an opportunity to apply what they learned in the lessons to career opportunities.
This activity can be completed as homework, as in-class work, or as a presentation.
Diseases and Disorders Research
Students research a disease or disorder related to the cardiovascular system in greater detail than presented in the module. Students explain the etiology, pathology, presentation, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and potential disease prevention. This activity can be completed as homework, as in-class work, or as a presentation.